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See AU’s Art Force Five at Louisiana Museum
5/23/13

The members of the Alfred University Art Force Five do not have x-ray vision, spider-senses, or super strength but instead claim that creativity is the most powerful tool in thwarting evil and addressing conflict. This non-violence message will be colorfully presented to children at the Louisiana Children’s Museum on Saturday, June 1.

The team will present “creativity workshops” twice, from 11:30 a.m.-noon and again from 1-1:30 p.m. at the museum. The interactive workshop features a cast of creative characters such as Graphite the Illustrator and Zoom the Photographer. The workshop is appropriate for all ages and features magic tricks, history lessons, and fun prizes. The team will also be staffing a craft table where children can create their own clothespin superhero from 9:30 a.m. until 2p.m.

The Louisiana Children’s Museum promotes hands-on participatory learning for children of all ages.  The museum is located at 420 Julia St., New Orleans. Admission is $8 per person - adults and children. Saturday’s hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The Art Force Five is an outreach team from Alfred University’s Drawn to Diversity program. The program mixes creativity and social justice advocacy with the goals to promote equality, reduce violence, and strengthen communities. In addition to creativity workshops, the team has created numerous community-involved art projects and engaging exhibits from New York to Miami. The team is visiting New Orleans to attend and present at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity from May 28-June 1.

AU studentMaimoona Rahim, a member of the team describes the effort as an alternative direction to the POW-WHAM-BAM techniques often used by popular comic book heroes.

“When conflicts arise in our lives, we instinctively have a ‘fight or flight’ response,” she explains. “Art Force Five explores the third option with the power of creative responses. Dr. Martin Luther King and civil rights activists succeeded because they didn’t fight or flee from opposition but held their ground through creative non-violence.”

“Recent national studies have shown that creativity scores are on the decline amongst American children,” program director Dan Napolitano adds. “Technology now provides instant answers, reducing opportunities to strengthen problem-solving skills. A child who can be a creative problem-solver in today’s society is even more powerful than a web-slinging hero,” he noted.

More information about Alfred University and Drawn to Diversity can be found at www.drawntodiversity.com